Q] What kind of brand collaborations are you exploring on Spotify? Tell us a bit about some of your recent brand collaborations.
The top three categories for us in India and globally are CPG, Media & Entertainment, and Tech. For CPG in India, we worked closely with Mondelez, L’Oréal, and ITC, among other brands. Globally, of course, we have very strategic relationships with clients like Coca-Cola, many US, and European brands, and so on. Similarly, in Media Entertainment in India, we pretty much work with all the players, and globally, advertisers like Disney and Netflix. Given the early tech adoption and sophisticated audience that you find on Spotify, we have handset makers like Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, etc. with us. Most of your large tech platforms like Google and Facebook, as well, and in tech B2C, we have Dell, Lenovo, and HP, etc. So, it’s a pretty wide category, and I would say that we’ve worked with over a hundred brands in the time that we’ve been here across all these categories, and many of these brands will also be the ones that make up our larger global portfolio in terms of the work that we have done.
Q] How has Spotify grown in the last one year? What factors have been instrumental in the company’s growth?
In this part of the world, specifically in India, we’ve had an exponential growth of our free ad-supported system. That was made possible not only due to some product improvements that we’ve made here, but also due to some of our own marketing efforts and partnerships that we’ve put in place here to help grow the audience. It’s also happening organically, and we’ve seen this happen in other markets as well, where we spend a lot of time intentionally acquiring users. Those users train other people in terms of the benefits of using Spotify, and then it starts to become more of an organic growth as a result of it, typically starting with a Gen Z audience and then Gen Z teaches other generations how to use Spotify. So, it’s grown both intentionally and organically quite a bit over the course of last year, specifically on the ad-supported side of the business.
Q] How important is the Indian market for Spotify in terms of audio advertising and brand collaborations? Also, where does India stand compared to other markets in JAPAC for Spotify, and what percentage does the Indian market contribute towards the platform’s global revenue?
The Indian market is hugely important to Spotify. Just recently our CEO made some public statements about the importance of India, and we’re not looking through the lens of what can we do over the course of the next year or two? We’re looking at it as what it’s going to look like in 2030. India is a very fast-paced innovative market, one that we want to be a big part of because there are strategies, product features, and things that will come out of India and potentially be applied into other parts of the world. As a result of this growth, we’re actually increasing the size of the team here on the ad-supported business by 5X. So, we are going to get many more Spotifyers here in the advertising business unit, here in Mumbai specifically.
So, India was the 79th market that we launched in 2019. Today, in terms of monetized impressions it’s growing to be one of the top markets globally.
Q] How are you positioning your brand against strong competitors in terms of advertising? What is that one USP that sets you apart?
We don’t think of ourselves as just audio. Of course, we’re the world’s largest streaming audio service and that’s something that we’re really proud of. We’re the largest here in India in terms of total consumption, but Spotify is a place for marketers and brands to connect with audiences in a very one-to-one way while they’re doing contextually relevant things throughout the course of their day. So, if you think of other digital media providers and platforms, and ways to reach audiences, Spotify’s the same. We have a variety of different products to help marketers do that, whether it’s audio or video and displaying other products.
Also, we have the world’s music catalogue available within our app. We have access to pretty much any podcast you’d ever want to listen to. But what is unique is our ability to give you content recommendations that we know you’re going to love before you do and because of this kind of creation of joy, we are one of those trusted media platforms in the industry.
Q] How are you leveraging technology to drive brand activations on your platform?
Today we are increasing the team by 5X. So we’re looking forward to better supporting the advertising community here by having more people as good consultants of their business, and kind of instructing them on how to activate from a brand perspective on Spotify. Next year we’ll be launching our self-service ad buying product called Ad Studio, a way for people at scale to be able to manage their own campaigns and access Spotify’s products and Spotify data to reach audiences in really unique ways.
From a pure tech point-of-view, we are fully integrated programmatically with most of the programmatic platforms. This means that given the focus on data, targeting, and understanding of consumer behaviour, we are able to use a lot of trends and insights that we see around content consumption to drive brand strategy for the customers that we work with. We also have something called Spotify API, which is a way for brands to tap into our personalization and discovery algorithm.
Q] What are your key focus areas going forward?
First is recruiting as we’re increasing the size of the team considerably in this part of the world. Second would be tools, things like our unit suggestion around API and self-service buying. We’re really excited about next year’s podcast. Having monetizable podcast product for marketers to be able to take advantage of and reach consumers in this really fast-growing format.